Casual Use of Analogies and Idioms in Communication

Persuasive Communication

I experienced a communication and relationship-building skills lesson that hit me like a one, two punch in a boxing match— all starting with browsing for a podcast to listen to while I did some gardening. Being Speechworks’ CEO and communications coach, the title of Rough Translation’s “How to Speak Bad English” got my attention – … Read More

Here’s a Template for a Valedictory Speech

Speech Templates

You thought becoming the valedictorian of your high school class was tough? That’s nothing compared to giving a great valedictory speech. Spend just a few minutes on YouTube and you’ll see that most valedictory speeches are boring and, worse, embarrassing. But there’s hope! You can give a great valedictory speech. Great valedictory speeches follow a … Read More

Here’s a Template for a Parent’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah Speech

Speech Templates

I wrote this post before I attended my 13-year-old cousin’s bat mitzvah, the traditional service marking a Jewish child’s passage into adulthood. A highlight of many bat/bar mitzvah services is the short blessing or speech from the parents. The best of these speeches are touching and often a little funny. They have stories that help … Read More

Stop Scaring Yourself Off the Stage

Nerves, Other

If you suffer from a fear of public speaking, you are not alone. Polls indicate that the fear of public speaking affects 70-75% of the population and is more common than the fear of spiders, confinement or even death. The fear of public speaking is anxiety driven and stems from our fear of being judged–our … Read More

How to Give a Great Webinar

Content, Visual Aids

Leo Tolstoy began his masterpiece “Anna Karenina” with the sentence “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Here’s my twist on that famous opening line: “All lousy webinars are alike; each good webinar is good by following a few principles”. Lousy webinars are an unfortunate fact of our … Read More

What Would the Gettysburg Address Look Like in PowerPoint?

Visual Aids

Watch the recorded webinar “Top Five Mistakes People Make with PowerPoint” “Hi. I’m Abe Lincoln. My first slide lays out a timeline for our nation. As you can see reading from left to right, it really all started four score and seven years ago. . . .” Of course that wouldn’t have done at all. … Read More

What I Learned from Vomiting and Fainting in Front of My Class


Watch the recorded webinar “Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking!” As a public speaking coach, nervous speakers regularly tell me “I think I’m going to pass out” or “I’m feeling sick to my stomach.” And while they never do faint or vomit, I have wondered what would happened if they did. Well I don’t need … Read More